The creator and former host of Soul Train apparently committed suicide this morning at his home in Sherman Oaks, according to multiple news reports. Doctors at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center pronounced him dead, from a self-inflicted gunshot, at 4:56 AM. He was 75. Soul Train was one of the most important trend setters in pop music and dance during its run from 1971 to 2006 featuring stars including Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, and Barry White. It billed itself as the “longest-running, first-run, nationally syndicated program in television history.” The deep-voiced Cornelius, who began his career as a radio disc jockey and reporter, hosted the show until 1993, and typically ended with the tagline “we wish you love, peace and soul.” In 1987 Cornelius introduced the Soul Train Music Awards to celebrate hitmakers in R&B, hip-hop and gospel music. MadVision Entertainment bought the franchise in 2008.
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